Mapula Mafole (born 18 July 1990) is a South African actress who has appeared in several movies and TV series, including Rhythm City. The 33 years old has grown to become a household name and has won over many fans who are diehard followers of her work on television.
The actress is prominent on social media, where she has hundreds and thousands of followers who monitor her every move. In recognition of her work onscreen, Mapula has been nominated for prestigious awards.
Mapula Mafole Is 33 But She Does Not Look Her Age
At first glance, anyone would think that Mapula Mafole is a teenage girl who is just about 18 or 19 years old. As a matter of fact, for a long time, many fans thought the actress was a teenager who was just starting out in life, especially because of her looks and the role she was playing in a TV series. However, they got the shock of their lives when her real age was revealed.
It turns out that Mafole is not a teenage girl at all but is actually someone who is already in her 30s. The actress was born on the 18th of July 1990. This means she is 33 years old at the moment. Apparently, some people have been blessed with ever-young facial features and Mapula Mafole is definitely one of those people. Because of her youthful looks, she has been described as ‘ageless’ in the media countless times.
She Was Born In Klerksdorp
Mapula Mafole was born in Klerksdorp, a city located in the North West Province, South Africa. The actress was born to a father identified as Moses Mafole and a mother called Monica Mafole. Her parents are both nurses who worked in the United States of America for some time.
The actress is not an only child; she has three siblings – a sister called Tebogo Mafole and two brothers identified as Thabiso Mafole, and Kabelo Mafole. Not much is known about what her siblings do for a living at the moment as they have remained largely out of the spotlight, unlike their famous sister. The actress is the youngest child in her family.
It is noteworthy that even though Mapule Mafole was born in Klerksdorp, she did not spend her entire childhood there. This is because she and her siblings relocated to Tshwane city, a metropolitan municipality that forms the local government of northern Gauteng Province, South Africa, when she was only about 10 years.
Mapula Mafole Did Not Grow Up With Her Parents
Growing up, Mapula Mafole did not spend too much time with her parents before they left her and her siblings and moved abroad. She was about 10 years old when her parents left and this is one reason why she and her siblings relocated to Tshwane. Her parents who are certified nurses had to travel to the United States of America to practice there but they did not carry Mapula or any of her siblings with them. Instead, they left the actress and her brothers under the care of her older sister, Tebogo who is married to DJ Christos.
Tebogo and her family lived in Pretoria so Mapula and her brothers lived with them and spent the remainder of their childhood there in Pretoria. However, it was difficult for the actress when she first moved to Pretoria, especially because of the absence of her parents.
The Actress Battled Depression As A Child
Mapula Mafole has often talked about how she battled depression while she was growing up. Her depression was fueled by her parents’ absence and the relocation to Tshwane. When they lived at Klerksdorp, their home was located in a small town so having to relocate abruptly to the big city of Tshwane was quite challenging. The actress explained that when she moved to Tshwane with her siblings, the whole bustle of the city was strange to her because she was so young and had not been in that kind of environment all her life.
Also, her sister, Tebogo’s husband was in the entertainment scene as a DJ and so being exposed to the fast life was a lot to take in for the future actress. The entire process of relocating, which involved changing schools, had such a significant impact on Mapula that she was forced to bottle up a lot of her thoughts and feelings and eventually became depressed and anxious. There were times that she would lock herself in her bedroom, sleep for days and not eat. She would even wonder why she was on earth at all.
Apparently, the actress had a difficult time adjusting from life in a small town to living in the city of Tshwane. However, this was not the only thing that made her depressed; she was also depressed mainly because she missed her parents. The fact they were so far away from her got her questioning many things, even though she was so young. However, in a 2018 interview with DRUM, the actress revealed that she was not angry with her parents for leaving her because she understood their good intentions and knew that they had made the tough decision to work overseas in order to provide financially for their family. However, even though she understood their good intentions, growing up without them was very difficult for her.
Also, her sister was very strict with her as a child and made sure she followed a set of rules around the house and outside. At the time, Mapula felt she was being punished and so began to develop some resentment for her sister. As she continued to grow up, the relationship between her and her sister became more strained. However, she has since revealed that she is now working hard at improving their relationship. According to her, when she looks back now, she understands why her sister was so strict with her and it was because she wanted to protect her.
How A Psychologist Saved Her
In the midst of her depression, the young Mapula Mafole had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. This continued for years. However, when she was about 13 years old, she decided to do something about the matter. She decided to see the school psychologist in her high school.
Mafole opened up to the psychologist and got all the necessary help she needed to see life in a different light. She started having very regular therapy sessions with the psychologist and began to gain confidence in herself and her abilities. In fact, the therapy sessions helped her so much that by the time she finished high school, she already knew what she wanted to do with her life and that was was to become an actress.
She Took Acting Courses At AFDA
Having decided to become an actress, Mapula Mafole decided to enroll in AFDA, a South African private Higher Education institution that offers courses in film, television, performance, radio, podcasting, business innovation, technology, and others.
At AFDA, Mafole took acting courses to hone her talent. However, something interesting happened just when she enrolled in AFDA – her father announced that he was returning home to South Africa to be closer to her and her siblings. Mafole was overjoyed. At last, she was going to have her father with her.
When her father finally returned to South Africa, everything was perfect for some time before a tragedy struck. The man suffered a stroke. Mapula Mafole and her siblings were distraught. They were all scared. Mapula was especially traumatized because, for her, her father was all that she had because her mom was still overseas. She felt her father was going to die and that got her really stressed up.
She was so paralyzed with fear that she actually felt herself slipping back into depression. In fact, for some time, she stopped attending her acting classes and was unable to get out of bed in the mornings. Everything seemed to be falling apart for her all over again the way it did when she was much younger. Soon, her grades began to drop.
Eventually, one of her lecturers contacted Mapula to tell her that she was failing her courses and that she needed to step up some more. At this point, she knew that she had to do something about her life. So, she went to see a psychologist again. The therapy sessions, once again, did some magic and she got her confidence back again. According to her, therapy and acting saved her life. Today, she still faces some moments of depression and anxiety, however, she gets to overcome those moments with acting. She explains that acting has been “a true blessing”.
Her Acting Career Began At The Age Of 22
Mapula Mafole finished her acting course at AFDA in 2012 and in that same year she landed her first TV role when she was cast to star on Intersexions, an award-winning South African television series. In the series, Mapula played the role of a young girl who was dealing with issues similar to what she was going through in real life. Playing that role gave Mapula some hope in herself and also affirmed that acting was indeed what she really wanted to do with her life. Because the role was her first one, she was nervous at first but eventually got used to being in front of the camera.
When she was done with her work on Intersexions, Mapula followed it up with a stint on Generations: The Legacy, one of the most popular soap operas in South Africa. The role got her some nice reviews from industry experts, some of whom predicted that she was the next big thing in South African cinema.
How Rythym City Changed Her Life
After she was done with working on Generations: The Legacy, Mapula Mafole eventually got her big break when she joined the main cast of Rhythm City, a South African musical drama series produced by Quizzical Pictures. The TV series was very popular and it quickly shot Mapula to the limelight because of her startling role interpretation. The show literally changed her life because it basically put her out there in front of an audience she never had before.
Mapula joined the cast of Rhythm City in 2015 when she was about 25 years old. In the series, the actress played the role of a 17-year-old girl who is also called Mapula. She was able to play the role convincingly because of her youthful face. On Rhythm City, Mapula’s character was an orphaned teenager who takes care of her siblings and goes through several challenges to do this.
The actress found the role very interesting because she identified with her character in the series. In real life, her own parents also left for another country when she was still young, leaving her with her sister to cater for her. Mapula became very famous for playing the role mainly because people came to love her character and identified with her struggles. In fact, in an interview in 2019, Mapula revealed that people loved her character so much that they would even offer her food and clothes in real life. She became a teen idol.
Mapula Mafole’s role on Rhythm City is still her biggest to date. However, she has had other roles since that time. She has starred in Soul City, another TV series in 2020. She has also starred in Z’bondiwe.
It is noteworthy that the actress has not only been starring in TV series, but she has also appeared in a movie. In 2015, the actress starred in the Mzansi Magic Movie titled Rise, playing the role of Palesa Mokoena.
She Has Received Recognitions
Mapula Mafole has become a really huge public figure in South Africa, thanks to her acting talent. In recognition of her enormous work on TV, she was nominated for South African Film and Television Awards for Best Supporting Actress – TV Soap for her role in Rhythm City in 2018.
She was nominated for the same award two more times in 2020 and 2021, cementing her place as a rave-making actress to watch out for.
Mapula Mafole Wants To Be A DJ
Apart from being an actress, Mapula Mafole has also revealed that she wants to be a disc jockey. The actress revealed that she fell in love with music when she was staying with her sister as a young child. This was mainly because music was always blaring around the house since her brother-in-law was a DJ. She got to fall in love with different kinds of music – from gospel to soul and other kinds.
According to her, she wishes she can sing. However, since she can’t, she has decided to become a DJ instead. In 2018, while speaking to Thembi Seete on Massiv Metro, an urban radio station, the actress revealed that she has started practicing to become a DJ already and that fans should watch out. She also claimed that she has started making a lot of money from DJying, even though she is just getting started.
Is There A Man In Mapula’s Life?
Many fans have asked if there is a man in the life of Mapula Mafole and if she is in a serious relationship that could lead to marriage. However, the actress is particularly very private about that aspect of her life. At the moment, there is no record of any man in her life with whom she shares a romantic relationship.
Also, a quick look through her Instagram page shows that she posts only work-related photos and other posts. She has carefully concealed anything about her romantic life. With time, details may emerge about who the man in her life is.